INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE (COUNCIL OF DIRECTORS' INSTITUTES OF TECHNOLOGY)
- AND -
MANUFACTURING SCIENCE FINANCE
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL & TECHNICAL UNION
TECHNICAL ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Upgrading of maintenance craftsmen.
2. The Union's claim is on behalf of 7 craftpersons involved in maintenance work who are employed in five Institutes of Technology. The workers are on the Craftpersons' pay scale but the Union believes that they should be on the Technicians' scale (formerly the Craft Assistant scale). The current Craftpersons' scale is €24,047 - €25,726 (12 points). The Technician scale is €26,472 - €43,345 (15 points). The claim has been ongoing since 1993/94 but it was not until 2001 that the parties met to discuss the issue. The dispute was then referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 26th of April, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 9th of August 2002.
3. 1. There is a 70% differential between the Craftpersons' scale and the Technicians' scale.
2. There are 6 people employed on maintenance duties on the Technician scale who are doing similar duties to the 7 workers concerned (details supplied to the Court). However, the workers concerned are paid considerably less.
3. The workers concerned should have originally been on the Craft Assistant scale of the Regional Technical Colleges. This was later subsumed into the Technician scale in 1997.
4. 1. The claimants carry out completely different work (and at a lower level) to the Technicians. Different qualifications are required for the job. The work that they carry out does not warrant a pay increase of 50% to 70%.
2. The claim is cost increasing and is precluded by the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF). Concession of the claim could have serious repercussions due to the number of craftpersons in the education sector.
3. During discussions, the Department indicated that it would be prepared to explore other possible options to meet the claim as far as possible e.g. craft promotional gradings such as Chargehand, Assistant Foreman/Foreman.
Having considered the written and oral submissions of both parties, the Court is of the view that the claimants are properly graded as maintenance craftspersons and, therefore, rejects the claim.
The Court recommends that the Department's offer to explore the possibility of craft promotional gradings, as set out in their submission, should be given further consideration. Therefore, the Court recommends that the parties should meet to revisit this proposal.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th August, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.